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Stevenson warns Fonfara ahead of light heavyweight title clash

MONTREAL -- Adonis Stevenson will rely on his explosive power and speed when he defends his World Boxing Council light heavyweight world title against Andrzej Fonfara on Saturday.

“He's confident. I am confident. But I have the power to end this fight quickly,” said Stevenson, the 2013 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year.

The 36-year-old Canadian southpaw Stevenson is coming off some impressive victories last year over Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud.

Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) is hoping a win Saturday will earn him a shot later this year at legendary Bernard Hopkins.

“I am in tremendous shape,” said Stevenson. “I took a rest and my body is recovered. I am ready to get back in the ring and prove why I am the best light heavyweight in the world.”

The 1.88 meter Fonfara (25-2, 15 KOs) says he is also confident heading into the biggest fight of his career which will take place at the Bell Centre arena.

“This is not my first time as an underdog,” Fonfara said. “I've proved people wrong before and I will do it again.”

Challenger Fonfara, of Warsaw, has won his last 15 consecutive fights, including 12 by knockout. He stopped former champion Gabriel Campillo last year and won a unanimous decision over Glen Johnson in July 2012.

He has beaten three former world champions in his last five fights.

Fonfara, who is 10 years younger than the champion, says he is just coming into his prime.

“You will see Saturday why I am the better fighter,” Fonfara said. “This is the right time for me.

“Everyone wants to fight for the biggest trophy and against the best fighters. He's the best world champ in the division and Saturday is my chance to prove that I am the best.”

At age 36, Stevenson arrived at the top of his division later in life. In 2013, he went 4-0, including the first-round knockout of Dawson to capture the light heavyweight belt.

“I am used to fighting taller guys with long range,” said Stevenson, who is giving away eight centimeters in height to Fonfara. “That won't be a problem for me. I will use my speed and power.”

A victory Saturday would likely get Stevenson a crack a unification fight with the ageless Hopkins, who is the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation title holder.

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